FC Bayern beat VfB Stuttgart 4-1 on Sunday afternoon, extending their winning streak in the first home match of the year. Thiago handed Bayern the lead in the opening stages, but Anastasios Donis levelled the scores midway through the first half. Christian Gentner put through his own goal, deflecting a Serge Gnabry shot after half-time. Robert Lewandowski missed a penalty, but Leon Goretzka twisted the knife before Lewandowski added gloss to the scoreline.
The German record champions started with Manuel Neuer in goal and Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Süle, Mats Hummels and David Alaba in a back four. Javi Martínez and Thiago featured in a twin holding role behind Thomas Müller, Goretzka and Kingsley Coman, with Lewandowski as lone striker.
- Thiago opens but Reds ease off
The 75,000 capacity crowd at the Allianz Arena saw Bayern go straight onto the front foot, and they were soon rewarded. The hosts prised apart Stuttgart's defence, Lewandowski's cutback inviting Thiago to blast home. It was one-way traffic in the first quarter-hour, but Kimmich fired wide before Goretzka saw an effort blocked.
Stuttgart got a grip on the contest midway through the second half, whereas Bayern strangely eased off. Nicolas Gonzalez fired wide before Anastasios Donis levelled the scores with a fine 20-yarder that found the top corner of the net. It was an even contest now, Thiago drawing a fine save from netminder Ron-Robert Zieler before Neuer stood out with a save from Donis. Zieler denied an effort by the particularly industrious Coman. The Frenchman soon fired into the side-netting, which meant the scores were level at half-time.
- Dominance after half-time
Niko Kovac introduced Gnabry for Martínez and was soon vindicated in his decision. Bayern dominated proceedings, Gnabry miscuing before seeing a shot deflected by Christian Gentner, the ball trundling over the line to restore Bayern's lead. The contest was frantic now, Gonzalez hitting the post before Kempf upended Lewandowski at the other end, but the Poland captain hit the post from the ensuing penalty.
Another Lewandowski effort went wide, but Leon Goretzka soon twisted the knife, his header sailing past Zieler and into the net following a corner. James took over from Müller, with Bayern in control, Hummels seeing an effort blocked before Alaba forced Zieler into a save. Gnabry hit the side-netting, but Lewandowski added the final flourish when he latched onto a Kimmich pass, rounding Zieler and blasting home. Alphonso Davies made his competitive debut when he came on for Coman before match official Frank Willenborg put the away side out of their misery.
The result means Bayern have 42 points from 19 matches, six short of Borussia Dortmund. The Bavarians will be back in action next Saturday, when they travel to face Bayer Leverkusen.
- FC Bayern - VfB Stuttgart 4-1 (HT: 1-1)
FC Bayern: Neuer – Kimmich, Süle, Hummels, Alaba – Martínez (Gnabry 46), Thiago – Müller (James 74), Goretzka, Coman (Davies 86) – Lewandowski
VfB Stuttgart: Zieler – Beck, Kabak, Kempf, Insua – Ascacibar, Gentner – Esswein (Sosa 90), Gonzalez, Zuber (Didavi 87) – Donis (Thommy 74)
Substitutions: Grahl – Aogo, Castro, Gomez
Referee: Frank Willenborg (Osnabrück)
Attendance: 75,000 (capacity)
Goals: 1-0 Thiago (5), 1-1 Donis (26), 2-1 Gentner (55, og), 3-1 Goretzka (71), 4-1 Lewandowski (85)
Yellow cards: Alaba / Gentner
Special occurrences: Lewandowski misses penalty (65)
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